Walsh College in Troy, Michigan recently went through unusual lengths to earn its LEED Gold certification. The campus primarily hosts evening classes for mid-career professionals who commute to school after work, so the 37,000 square foot program called for a large parking lot to accommodate its students. In addition, the program required a LEED-certified building that would “make the business case” for sustainable design. Architects Valerio Dewalt Train responded to the challenging brief with an innovative approach that incorporates on-site rainwater recycling, energy-efficient lighting, and a high-performance building envelope.
The school’s campus and parking lot feature a series of bioswales that facilitate on-site stormwater cleaning and storage, benefiting the natural wetlands located adjacent to the site which had previously been degraded. Special attention was paid to the building’s thermal envelope, ensuring interior temperature stabilization, and other strategies such as daylight harvesting, energy optimization for night occupancy, and improved indoor air quality were maximized to ensure a LEED Gold status.
Walsh College has also placed exhibits throughout its new building showcasing these sustainable strategies to encourage their future business leaders to integrate sustainable approaches within their decision-making process.